If the intoxicating smell of this latte doesn’t draw you in, its aesthetically pleasing rosy pink color certainly will. At the Special Tea House in Greenport, they’ve brought back their popular rose latte, a drink that tastes just as good as it looks.
It starts with a black rose tea. “It’s a strong Chinese black tea, and it has rose petals and rose oil. So it’s really nice on its own,” said Victoria Schade, who runs the tea shop and adjoining salon along with her mother.
The loose tea leaves are steeped in hot water twice for exactly six minutes. Then, honey, rose water and vanilla extract are added. This mixture simmers over low heat until it reduces to a concentrate. This is the base of the latte.
The idea for a rose tea latte came from one of the staff members at the Special Tea House, Brianna Mutell. “She is tea obsessed, like she knows everything about tea,” Schade said. “One time last winter she was playing around with things and she just made a concentrate out of [the rose tea].”
Next, you froth the milk. An industrial espresso machine is not necessary: Special Effects simply uses the milk frother that comes with a Nespresso machine. It’s perfect for one serving. In there goes the rose concentrate, milk of choice and a few scoops of beet root powder.
“It’s tasteless and gives the latte the beautiful pink color,” Schade said. The whole mixture is then frothed for two to three minutes and poured into the most delicate and beautiful Victorian style tea cup. She garnishes with edible rose petals and buds and the latte is ready to be enjoyed.
It’s almost too beautiful to drink. Almost. The rose scent perfumes the space. One sip and I’m in love. The floral notes, which worried me initially, were subtle and didn’t come through until the end. The beetroot powder was in fact tasteless. Overall, it was creamy and lightly sweet with a touch of earthiness that was brightened at the end by the rose.
To try the rose latte yourself, head over to the Special Tea House in Greenport. While you’re there, sample some of their amazing scones, which pair perfectly with the latte.
455 Main St, Greenport, 631-477-2265